Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommends community-based care

12 February 2021

This Royal Commission reported in February 2021 after nearly two years of work, in five substantial volumes. Here we focus on just two of the recommendations:

  • a community-based, holistic approach, and
  • what the Commissioners call “mental health supported housing models”, citing the Haven Foundation which operates homes in Victoria with a model of care very like that of HOME in Queanbeyan and proposed for MyHome in Canberra.

In the first volume of the report, sections 6.2.3 to 6.2.6 (pages 309-315) are headed:

  • Community-based services enable connection, healing and recovery
  • Community-based services are preferred by many consumers
  • Community-based services involve families, carers and supporters
  • Community-based services enable early intervention and can be cost effective.

In the second volume, chapter 16 (pages 397-447) is titled “Supported housing for adults and young people”. It recommends “mental health supported housing models”, as in the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) in NSW and the Housing and Support Programs in South Australia and Queensland.

Similar options in Victoria which the report cites are Common Ground (delivered by Launch Housing) and the Haven Foundation program. The Haven Foundation has two sites in operation and five more expected to be completed in 2021. It is described on pages 420-1, including this:

An independent evaluation by Monash University in 2013 noted that the Haven South Yarra is a unique model offering certainty and stability of housing to people with severe mental illness. It concluded that tenants experienced a reduced need for acute psychiatric or residential rehabilitation care, greater participation in vocational or educational opportunities and improved their connections with carers and family members as well as members of the broader community.

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